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Arsenal 1 United 2

United got the better of Arsenal in a three goal thriller at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon.

Team News - With Manchester City having won earlier in the day thanks to an injury-time penalty from Balotelli, Sir Alex knew he had to get a result at the Etihad Stadium. Scholes, out of retirement, was only awarded a place on the bench, Ferdinand, as predicted beforehand, wasn`t in the eighteen courtesy of injury and Lindegaard continued between the posts getting the nod over De Gea. All in all, Sir Alex made three changes from the side that started the last game with Giggs replacing Scholes and Evans and Smalling coming into the back four.

On the back of hearing the City result, Sir Alex quipped before the kick-off,

'What we've got to do is to make sure we keep on City's coat-tails. So many things happen in football and so we just have to make sure we do our job properly and keep on plugging away at them.'

United - Lindegaard, Evra, Jones, Evans, Smalling, Giggs, Carrick Nani, Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck

Subs - De Gea, Fabio, Rafael, Park, Scholes, Berbatov, Hernandez

First Half - United got the action underway and the first fifteen minutes were to be very cagey, the only highlights being a weak shot from Ramsey that Lindegaard coped with easily and an injury picked up by Jones when he slipped over as the speedy Walcott skipped away.

Slowly though United started to dominate and midway through the half a spell of pressure forced a couple of corners with the attack coming to an end when Giggs, from an impossible angle, tried to beat the keeper at his near post.

Arsenal going forward, were offering little and only Oxlade-Chamberlain was causing any real threat, one dangerous ball in from the teenager resulting in Walcott shooting wide.

Welbeck, using his pace, looked to be through on goal but pressure from Koscielney saw the striker lift his effort high over the bar. A twisting run from Giggs earned a free kick but Evans header drifted wide for a goal-kick.

Much of our better attacks were coming down the left flank with Evra and Nani combining well, one move involving the two saw Nani's shot saved, low down, at the base of the post by the keeper.

A sweeping move involving Valencia, Giggs and Rooney saw the striker tumble over in the box but a penalty would have been harsh. Nani`s pace down the wing, saw him out-run Djourou but his shot drifted across the face of the goal and went well wide.

As half time approached, Nani had a shot saved before, in stoppage time, United did go ahead. The goal came down the left flank but this time it was Giggs in space who delivered a cross, to the far post, that saw Valencia power home a header.

Arsenal 0 United 1 (Valencia - 45+1 minutes)

Half Time - Arsenal 0 United 1

Second Half - United, defending the1-0 lead, almost let it slip early in the half when a Smalling slip let in Rosicky but when he squared the ball to Van Persie the Dutchman saw his shot flash wide.

United responded with a mazy run from Evra that almost created a half chance for Welbeck before a cross form Nani just evaded the head of the same player.

Oxlade Chamberlain continued to look dangerous and a ball slipped to Rosicky saw a rising shot just clear the bar. Rosicky then saw a shot blocked moments after Oxlade Chamberlain saw his shot fizz narrowly wide.

With the game switching from end-to-end, Mertesacker was forced to clear an effort from Welbeck off the line after a long headed ball, from midfield, had opened up the Arsenal backline.

But, having looked as if they`d weathered the Arsenal storm, United conceded. Rafael had won possession and had broken out of defence at speed, Rooney found him with a return ball but a superb challenge from Koscielny saw Arsenal break and when Oxlade Chamberlain found Van Persie his shot went through Evan`s legs and just evaded the finger-tips of Lindegaard.

Arsenal 1 United 1 (Van Persie - 70 minutes)

Sir Alex made two further changes; Scholes came on for a limping Nani whilst Park replaced Rafael. With both sides looking for a winner, Lindegaard did well to claim a cross from Yenaris.

With eight minutes left though, United got the winner. Valencia burst into the box and at the second attempt his pass found Welbeck and the youngster made no mistake with his finish.

Arsenal 1 United 2 (Welbeck - 82 minutes)

United survived a hectic five minutes of stoppage time to ensure that the pressure, at the top of the table, was maintained on Manchester City.



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The Journalist

Writer: Red Boy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 22 2012

Time: 6:09PM

Your Comments

Good performance, not exellent, but we really should have finished 1 half more than 1 goal up.. Second half was a bit more shaky though allowing Arsenal som dangerous chances, but all in all we were by far the better team. Another goal from Wellbeck on a night where Rooney was pretty quiet. Important 3 points as well, as City somehow managed to get 3 points from their game with Spurs. They big games are comming in thick and fast now.
nordkap
They say wellbeck is holding out for 60k/week, i say give it to him. He is more than worth it. Why should m. Owen get 50k for sitting around in the infirmary?
alexpant
Alexpant, I dont know if it is true, the press also wrote that Ravel Morrison was holding out for a huge contract, something he has denied several times on Twitter. But I agree with you in the sense that he does deserve a better contract, he looked real dangerous yesterday, and he has kept Chica and Berba on the bench..
nordkap
Good example of ruthlessly exploiting the other teams' weaknesses yesterday. Haven't a clue what Wenger was thinking playing the plodding Djourou against quick wingers. Hell, even the 93 year old Ryan Giggs was faster. Arsenal looked much better when they brought on a recognised fullback, but you'd pretty much killed them off by then. Any news on the injuries? Having Jones, Ninny, Carrick and Pubehead all injured can't do much for the fan's confidence in staying the course in the title race.
fifthcolumnblue
We could've scored so much more had we showed more end product, we didn't take those opportunities though and had to rely on a stupid sub by Wenger to make our lives easier.
TheFamousNo7
FCB - injuries are part and parcel of a teams success (or lack of) throughout the season, we have a good enough squad, maybe not as good as yours, but then when influential players are out you guys do seem to suffer a bit.

I dont like seeing any player injured, least of all a very good player such as Jones, or David Silva, but teams do deal with it and pull through.....
niteworlok
 

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